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RB F1 Jeddah Disappointment

Haas Maneuver: RB F1’s Tough Pill in Jeddah

10/03/2024

Falling short at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, RB F1’s anticipated success turned into dismay with 14th and 16th finishes.

RB F1 had higher expectations than 14th and 16th places in Jeddah at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Team director Laurent Mekies did not hide his disappointment post-race.

“It was a very disappointing result for the team after a lot of good work over the weekend,” lamented the Frenchman. “Yuki was fighting for what could have been a tenth place. He was then overtaken by Magnussen, who cut the track to do so, and then slowed down the pack to let his teammate extend a gap in front of us all.”

“This made Magnussen’s penalty irrelevant as it ruined Yuki’s race. It was a disappointing end after a very strong qualifying. Daniel’s race was compromised by a very long pit stop during the double stop under the Safety Car. He then spent much of the race in heavy traffic.”

“In an extremely tight midfield, falling back happens quickly if not everything is understood perfectly, and the race was certainly not perfect for us. We will continue to work hard in Faenza and Bicester, and the team is looking forward to getting back into the fight in Melbourne.”

A Haas maneuver “hard to swallow”

Team sporting director Alan Permane did not hesitate to criticize Haas’s strategy, deeming it unsportsmanlike: “With Yuki, we ran a conventional race like most others. We started him on medium tires, and when the safety car came out, we stopped him for hard tires.”

“What happened next was a bit hard to swallow! Magnussen left the track to deliberately get in front of Yuki and then slowed him down to two seconds a lap, allowing Hülkenberg, who had not yet stopped, to create a gap and, of course, stop in front of all the cars behind.”

“To me, this does not seem right and is the very definition of unsportsmanlike behavior. I am sure we and other teams will be speaking to the FIA about this for future races.”

“Regarding Daniel’s race, we had a problem with the tires during his pit stop, and it pushed him to the back of the pack. From there, it was difficult to make progress.”

“Overall, we have clearly made a step forward in our understanding of the car, and we qualified well, which is positive. We are now looking forward to a break for our team after three long weeks away from our bases, and I am confident we will come back stronger in Melbourne.”

RB F1 Jeddah Disappointment. RB F1 Jeddah Disappointment

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